Most Beautiful Places to Sail - Part 1

With the wind in your hair and the sunlight glinting on the water, the hum-drum of everyday life seems like a different existence, especially if your destination is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The only problem may be choosing out of so many fantastic areas. Here are some ideas to give you a start.


This cluster of tiny, volcanic, Portuguese-owned islands, are known for their lush vegetation and their dramatic landscapes. Their remote location in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and warmed by the Gulf Stream means that they are reasonably unspoiled by tourism and have the ideal temperatures for creatures such as dolphins and whales. Horta is a good starting point for exploring by boat.


The Exumas, in the Bahamas is the perfect example of a Caribbean paradise. The area divides the Great Bahama Bank from the Exuma Sound and here you will find turquoise seas, sandy beaches and untouched surroundings. The conditions for sailing are idea, with numerous uninhabited cays and bays where you can enjoy a quiet lunch, a swim and a snorkel.


This cluster of Spanish islands, which include Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera, make a beautiful European sailing destination. Although they are very popular with tourists, with their sun-drenched beaches, sparkling blue waters and historic remains of ancient civilizations, you can avoid the crowds if you know where to go. Try the secluded Ibizan bay of Cala Llentrisca or the unspoiled town of Deia in Mallorca.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

With one of the highest per-capita rates of boat ownership in the world, this is the mecca for sailing enthusiasts. Unfortunately it comes at a price – and a high one. But expense aside it has got to be one of the best sailing venues in the world, with its beauty, its 150 pristine, unspoiled islands. The small town of Paihia would be a good base for your stay and somewhere you can charter a boat, but it is a popular place and needs to be booked in advance.

British Virgin Islands (BVIs)

Referred to as the “Sailing Capital of the Caribbean”, the BVIs has over 50 islands and numerous shores and cays accessible only by sea. With mild but steady winds and sparkling clear waters, it is a true paradise for sailors, snorkelers and those who just want to soak up the sun and relaxing atmosphere.


If you love chic coastal resorts, hidden coves, secluded bays, with the added bonus of fine weather then the island of Corsica is a good choice. It is one of the best kept secrets of the Western Mediterranean, with over 200 beaches and a more traditional way of life than some of the sailing hot-spots. The beautiful town of Ajaccio is encircled by mountains and I shall never forget my sail into the amazing cliff-top town of Bonifacio; one of the highlights of my sailing experiences.

Croatian Coast

If you love warm blue sea and brilliant sun, the 1,000 mile coastline of the Adriatic’s Croatia is a must. With iconic cities like Dubrovnik that you can sail right into, over a thousand lovely islands with good moorings, hidden coves and a host of traditional villages to explore, it is no wonder that this area is fast becoming a popular destination for sailors.

Dorset, South Devon and South Cornish Coast

This area rivals many of the European and even worldwide sailing areas, if you can put up with the weather. It is certainly one of my favourites and one that I have sailed many times, from the unique ancient coastline of the Jurassic Coast, the spectacular Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, the beautiful serenity of the Helford River and the secrecy of the River Yealm leading up to Newton Ferrers.

French Polynesia

Over 100 islands make up the tropical beauty of French Polynesia. You can sail through turquoise lagoons and past the emerald-green peaks of the South Pacific, visiting destinations with the romantic names of Tahiti, Mo’orea, Bora Bora and the Marquesas.

Galapagos Islands

600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, these volcanic islands and their crystal clear waters are the home to the most wonderful variety of wildlife. The myriad of rare mammals, reptiles, bird and fish living in this area include the Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguanas and penguins.

Read Part 2

Author - Dee White

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